DAVE & DUJANOVIC

FBI trainer from SLC reflects on his time in Afghanistan and its future

Aug 16, 2021, 5:07 PM | Updated: 5:29 pm
Afghanistan...
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
(AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

SALT LAKE CITY — Twenty years of sacrifice, blood and treasure lost in a weekend. And just like that, the Taliban is back in power in Afghanistan.

According to the US Department of Defense, the total military expenditure in Afghanistan from October 2001 until September 2019 had reached $778 billion.

The Associated Press picks up the coverage:

President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials were stunned by the pace of the Taliban’s nearly complete takeover of Afghanistan during the weekend, as the planned withdrawal of US forces turned deadly at Kabul’s airport Monday as thousands tried to flee the country. Senior U.S. military officials said the chaos at the airport left seven people dead, including some who fell from a departing American military transport jet. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

Retired Salt Lake City FBI supervisor Karl Schmae, who was deployed to Afghanistan, joined Dave & Dujanovic on KSL NewsRadio Monday to discuss the precipitous collapse of the country and what he sees as its future.

Gone in a blink

“This is incredibly sad for the country, for the people of Afghanistan that are being left behind,” Schmae said. “I think it’s a disaster for the US. We spent so much money, we had so many lives of US servicemen given, including from Utah. It’s just a shame that it came to this so quickly.”

Schmae said he was deployed to a base outside Kabul, the capital, about 10 years ago. He said in the relative security of the Green Zone where the US Embassy is located it was still dangerous because of so-called green-on-blue attacks where Afghans being trained by the US military were shooting their American trainers.

Schmae added that he worked with Afghans who were patriotic and grateful the US military was helping secure their country.

“But by the same token, there was this other element, the Taliban out there, that definitely wanted the US out of there,” he said.

Safe haven again for terrorists?

Al-Qaeda, a militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden, which had its headquarters in Afghanistan, attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people. Two hijacked passenger airplanes were flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; a third plane hit the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C.

Schmae said he doesn’t think the Taliban has changed during the past 20 years. 

“They haven’t changed their stripes, so I think we’re gonna have to really monitor to see what happens going forward. Do they allow foreign fighters to come in and start setting up bases again?” he said.

What future do Afghan women and girls have?

After the US military toppled the Taliban regime early in the war, women could leave the house, work jobs, and girls could attend school, Schmae said. 

“That’s all going to go by the wayside because the Taliban believe in a very strict interpretation of Islamic law — Sharia law — and they’re going to want women to be covered in full burqas. It’s going to revert back to the dark ages for women,” he said. 

Listen to Dave & Dujanovic weekdays nine to noon on KSL.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

A motorist drives through the snow in Olympus Cove in Salt Lake County. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret...
Curt Gresseth

Be Ready Utah: What you need in your emergency winter car kit

After a significant snowfall in northern Utah, are you prepared for a winter emergency while on the roads? Wade Mathews of Utah Division of Emergency Management -- Be Ready Utah joins the shows to give out holidays tips on being prepared for any challenges while driving.
2 days ago
Thanksgiving dinner with all the sides. (Stock photo)...
Alejandro Lucero

Pass the stuffing not the uncomfortable conversation this Thanksgiving

Dave and Dujanovic spoke with an expert who will help you void the gobble-squabble around the dinner table this Thanksgiving.
8 days ago
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 20: People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near the Club...
Curt Gresseth

‘I trained for this,’ says veteran who took down gunman at nightclub

A veteran joins the show to provide insight into the actions of another veteran who limited the loss of life at a Colorado nightclub by subduing the gunman until police arrived on scene.
9 days ago
Rioters at the US Capitol...
Curt Gresseth

Utah bill would limit police access to your cellphone data

A spokesman for a a libertarian think tank in Utah discusses why he supports a bill at the Legislature limiting law enforcement access to the cellphone of a person near a crime scene.
10 days ago
rollercoaster lagoon...
Curt Gresseth

Lagoon spokesman explains big price hike for day pass

Lagoon announces Primordial, a new one-of-a-kind interactive rollercoaster, coming in 2023, but with the new ride comes higher season passes.
13 days ago
Police provided an update but added little new information about four University of Idaho students ...
Curt Gresseth

Police stay quiet after quadruple homicide in Idaho

A killer is on the loose, police in Moscow, Idaho, are tight-lipped and a community is on edge after four university students were found slain Saturday.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
FBI trainer from SLC reflects on his time in Afghanistan and its future